For almost 5 years, (2013-2017) I had the same cosmetologist highlight my hair in Arizona. I loved her, and I loved being blonde, but I was ready for a change and wanted to give my hair a break from being constantly lightened. So one day, I used a brown box color on my whole head and went without coloring it for 1 full year. I had no idea what I was thinking, but after that year my hair grew over 4 inches and was stronger than ever. So, I guess my “master plan” worked out.
Once that 1 year mark approached, I wanted to be blonde again. And not that warm, caramel blonde.. I wanted to have that gorgeous cool-tone blonde that you see on Pinterest on those before and after photos that look like you need to spend a month’s salary to achieve.
It was fate, Naj (@balaygebynaj) reached out to me on Instagram and after a short conversation and some research I was confident that she could help me with my “unrealistic” vision. PLEASE – If you are a blogger, influencer or model do your research first before agreeing to anything. Yes, it sounds great saving a few hundred dollars but make sure that you go to a licensed, experienced professional. Especially if you are a blonde! The highlights in the before photo above were not done by Naj. Below are a few of my favorite after photos from her Instagram. She is so talented!
"I wanted to cry happy tears."
Okay, now for the good stuff. I had no idea going into my appointment that I was going to walk out with the perfect, healthy blonde hair. I figured that it would take 2-3 visits to correct this box colored, faded, highlighted mess. With Naj’s experience and patience we pulled off my perfect color in 1 sitting. However, it took about 4.5 hours. The process went something like this: color/highlight application, wait, rinse, tone, wait, rinse, root smudge/blend, wash, trim, blow dry and style.
When we were finished, I wanted to cry happy tears. I was in shock and still am! Before I left that day Najela matched my hair for the next step in our transformation – EXTENSIONS! We ordered the Hotheads tape-in extensions in colors #25 and #20 and 18″-20″ for the length.
After a few weeks, I went in for my installation appointment and she was finished in 1 hour. It was painless, and my extensions are so soft and comfortable. We took a few photos (below) and I was on my way with new, long, gorgeous hair!
*Indoor/outdoor lighting will vary with hair color in photos. Below are unedited indoor photos from my iPhone.